tv State of the Union CNN June 26, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PDT
you familiar with the concept of free speech or as ebert put it, why did you remove it? that's it for this edition of "reliable sources." i'm howard kurtz. join ug next sunday morning for another critical look at the media. "state of the union" with candy crowley begins right now. did the president get it just right? a gold locks moment for his plan to withdraw troops from afghanistan. today, too many too soon or too few too late? with house intelligence committee chairman mike rogers and house minority leader nancy pelosi. >> i don't see any reason why our troops couldn't come home sinner. >> then jim demint on his 2012 lit mus candidate. >> can't say we have to balance
our budget should not be bite. >> and then former bush speechwriter, michael gerson. i am candy crowley, and this is "state of the union." citing gains on the grounds against the taliban, president obama said he will bring 10,000 surge troops home by the end of this year, another 23,000 by accept 2012. almost 70,000 u.s. troops will remain in afghanistan, twice as many as when the president took office. still the drawdown decision was seen as defeat for military commanders. >> the ultimate decision was a more aggressive formulation, if you will, in terms of the time line, than what we had recommended. >> it was more aggressive, and it has more risk than i was originally prepared to -- than i recommended.
>> joining me now, the chairman of the house intelligence committee, republican congressman mike rogers. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> you heard the commanders. despite what general petraeus and admiral mullen just said, they're on board. are you? >> i hope there is a change in the second part of the withdrawal before next year. >> the 23,000 expected out by september. >> what the military commanders said is give us two fighting snsz at the surge level. and the fighting season in afghanistan goes from about may through october. in the first fighting season -- they are in the middle of the first fighting season. and the taliban keeps arguing and communicating to the afghans, we're winning, they're going to leave, be careful who you support. so by announcing it now right in the middle of that first fighting season i think we've done more harm to our ability to leave afghanistan a place that can defend itself. at the end of the day, that's the goal, that their police and
army can deal with the taliban once we leave. in order for that to happen -- i supported the president when he called on the surge last year, we believed you could break their back in this, in the next fighting season, those 23,000 troops, candy, have to start leaving right at the beginning of the fighting season -- >> so by june you have to begin a withdrawal, basically? >> should be significant if you going to hit that 23,000 number next year alone. that means you give up ground. it puts more burden on the troops that are left behind. and by the way, that's why the commanders -- and this should be conditions based, not politically based here at home. >> let me ask you, you do have, speaking of politically, some republican presidential candidates saying i think we ought to get out of there quicker than 2014. i think we can do this more speedily than the president envisions. do you have a lot of concerns as you do about the president's plan with some of your republican colleagues who are running for president? >> if we do this correctly, we
can leave before 2014. by surging up -- remember, the final part of the surge did not get here until january of this year. it has not been a full year at surge strength in afghanistan. in this political machination, well, i have a 2012 campaign, which unfortunately i think this was more written by the political shop than it was by the pentagon. >> le me just stop you because people say this sort of thing all the time, and that is the gist of what you're saying is you think the president made the decision involving u.s. troops and the safety of those who remain behind based on his desire to get re-elected. is that what you're saying? >> it's very hard to come to any other conclusion when the time line is exactly in line with the 2012 election. with the commanders on the ground saying don't do this, we've got some -- >> but they're on board now. >> well, they also work for the president directly. as they said, very carefully worded, if you listen to them, it is more aggressive than we
thought was safe to do. it was -- it's too soon. the people who drafted the plan -- again, i supported the president in the surge, which was not necessarily all that politically comfortable here in the united states. but at the end of the day, if we leave afghanistan with a safe haven, we have done nothing except accept the pre-9/11 mentality. the time line is just too darn close. i am a former fbi guy, and coincidences are one thing, but the fact that it lines up to have those troops out before the first debate of 2012 is concerning to me, mainly because the conditions on the ground have not changed. now the notion that they will negotiate with the taliban, they sends a horrible message to the afghans that have been cooperating with the united states that, gee, we can't beat the taliban, we're going to negotiate with people who, by the way, said that your girls couldn't even be taught how to read. >> let me move you to a
different topic in our final couple minutes. you were one of eight republicans to vote to authorize the u.s. action, which was already taken by some as part of the nato contingent. do you sense, as senator mccain does, that there is an isolationist trend inside the republican party? >> well, i think confusion has led to the events of this week. i would argue this should be one of the most embarrassing moments going into this week. the fact they had republicans and democrats all over the map on something that i believe that the president has shown leadership, presented his case, and i believe that there are national security interests in libya and in a very limited, defined role there are things that we better be concerned about. they have weapons systems and other things. so i think what happened, candy, is is that lack of leadership, that lack of explanation, his believing he doesn't have to come to congress, led to only eight republicans and a host of democrats in a very confusing message with should we cut off
funds or shouldn't we cut off funds. he could have avoided all of that with some leadership. >> let me call you on something here, and that is you say you see politics at play with the president having these surge troops pull out right before the election next year, in september of next year, for the november election. and now we have the republicans who are seen as the party of, you know, strength, the party that supports u.s. military maneuvers overseas. here you have most republicans voting against the president of the united states who's a democrat, who has put u.s. forces behind nato forces. they're not as far as we know in any kind of mortal danger, u.s. troops. why is that not an election-year vote? when it's totally atypical of the republican party not to support a mission like this. >> well, and again, the president hasn't made the case. and i do believe he was in violation of the wars power act. if you like the wars power act or don't like the wars power
act, it is the law of the united states of america. he has stood up and said i don't have to follow that law. so what you saw was lots of republicans saying, hey, wait a minute. this is -- it's serious business when you put your military men and women at risk for the united states of america. and if you ear going to do that, you better have us all on board, by "all," the american people, the united states congress. the president, in defiance of all of that, just stood up and said i don't have to follow the law. i'm not coming down to justify it. and i think it was a horrible mistake. i think if he made his case -- and remember, i supported the president up front on libya because i do believe there's some national security issues that will directly impact the united states if we don't get it right. we at least should have a seat at the table. and i'm not advocating for boots on the ground. i think the limited role we're playing in libya is appropriate. but we do bring some very unique capabilities to that fight. and we can do it in a very, very limited way and protect our national security interests. but by him not making that case,
i think he has gotten people all over the map. and you saw that what i thought was an embarrassing moment for the administration this week that i think we could have avoided. >> congressman mike rogers, chairman of the intelligence committee, thanks for joining us this morning. >> thanks for having me. >> up next, house democratic leader nancy pelosi takes on the president's afghanistan plan and her republican colleagues over the debt ceiling. >> leader cantor can't handle the truth when it comes to ending tax subsidies for big oil, corporations that send jobs overseas and the like. ♪ ♪
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joining me today from the u.s. congress, democratic leader, nancy pelosi. madam leader, thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> good to see you. i want to ask you first about afghanistan. you were disappointed in the president's decision feeling that more troops should be drawn out of there faster, and you promised to continue pressuring the president. in what form does that pressure take place? >> it was not really pressuring the president, it was making sure the afghanis were doing what they were supposed to do in the bargain so the president's timetable can be honored and perhaps facilitated. what i had said was that, really, it's time. we have been there 9 1/2, almost 10 years. for the first 7 1/2 years, the bush administration did nothing. they had no plan. president obama has a plan. he has announced the good news that we will be gone by a date certain.
i had hoped they could take more troops out sooner for a number of reasons. the lives and limbs of the precious treasure, fist and foremost, the cost to the taxpayer, but also the message to the afghan people, the afghan government, that they have to do their part of this, and the sooner they do, the sooner our troops can come home. >> beyond rhetorically, is there a way to pressure? obviously you could remove funds, which i'm assuming you would be against. is there some way you feel that you can make that pressure felt? >> well, i communicate with the president of afghanistan. i was there this spring and met with the ambassador this week. our message continues to be we want to see progress. now, when i was there this spring really for the first time i saw progress. the plans that the president had put in motion are showing benefits, whether it's the training of their forces, be it police force or military force,
that's really moving along in a much better way. whether it's anti-corruption initiatives. we have great people in place to help with that. but i see progress being made and the framework that president obama has if it moves more quickly, i don't see any reason why our troops couldn't come home sooner. the longest war in our history. >> it is. and the fact is, if it goes the way the president's plan is laid out, there will likely be two times as many troops in afghanistan in november when he runs for re-election as there were when he took office. is this the foreign policy you expected when candidate obama was campaigning? >> what i said at the time was the american people are weary of this war, and we will do anything to protect our people, and how is it in our national interest to stay there? can we do it a quicker, better way?
not in haste, but with some plan to come home. and the president has put that into place. he has evaluated what the challenge is. i commend him for the capture and the apprehension of osama bin laden. this was a very, very big deal. he connected the dots. he got it done. and he now has a plan for afghanistan. yes, i would have hoped we would have had a way to bring our troops home sooner, but that depends on actions taken by the afghanis as well. i think we sent them a clear message. >> do you think the president -- since there will be twice as many troops in afghanistan when he runs for re-election as when he first ran, do you think he'll pay for this in his liberal base? do you think they hold it against him? >> i hope not. he has taken us on a course to finish the war and is finishing the war in iraq. he is the president. he has a plan, and that's
something that we have not had before. i think that our progressive base, of which i consider myself proudly a part, will turn out for the president because -- >> despite some disappointments? >> well, in other words, unless you want to run for president yourself, you will never have it all your own way. and as a base of its nature, god bless the base is of its nature, dissatisfied, persistent, relentless, and that's a good thing. the president has a different role. we do too in congress. but i would hope that the base could influence, if not make the decision, influence the decision, and i think they have. the president has taken out more troops than some others wanted him to do. >> let me ask you to stand by a minute. we will take a quick break, and when we come back, the debt ceiling.
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back now with the leader of the democrats in the u.s. house. madam leader, thank you for being here again. is it time for the president and the republican speaker of the house to sit down together and work out some sort of deal to raise the debt ceiling? >> let me just say this. there won't be any agreement for such an agreement unless the house democrats are part of that, unless the speaker comes to the table with 218 votes.
but i think the president has been involved. he's talked about bipartisanship. he's talked about balance and what we do. the obstacle has come because leader cantor has walked away from the table because he doesn't want to deal with special interest, tax subsidies and the need -- >> the republicans don't want any tax increases in the debt ceiling? >> it's not a question of tax increases. >> sorry, they don't want -- yes, right, they don't want changes in revenue. >> what we're talking about here, some of the things that -- leader cantor can't handle the truth when it comes to these tax subsidies for big oil, for corporations sending jobs overseas, for giving tax breaks to the wealthiest people in the country while they're asking seniors to pay more for less to be on as they abolish medicare. >> in the end they refer to tax
increases as subsidies, anything that changes the tax base or the tax rate for corporations or for individuals. but let me ask you -- >> but, still, make sure we understand, closing special interest tax subsidies is what they have walked away from. >> so you said that there will be no deal unless house democrats are in on it, so as far as you are concerned, just because the president of the united states and speaker boehner come to some agreement, should they, you have to be sitting at the table as well? >> well, i have no objection as a former speaker myself to the president and the speaker trying to reach some level of agreement, some framework for how we go forward. that arrangement works if the speaker has 218 votes. if they expect democrats to vote for the agreement, then democrats will have to be part
of the agreement. >> mitch mcconnell, the leader obviously on the senate side, said i think i can safely say that this congress is not going to raise taxes so why are we still talking about it? isn't there a point here? because his point is even when democrats controlled the house and the senate and the president was in the white house, they could not pass any kind of tax increase, they could not deal with any of the subsidies, so why either bother to fight for it at this point? >> they could not pass it because the republicans obstructed it -- >> and they still would, so i guess is point is isn't this sort of pointless? >> no, it's not pointless, unless it's pointless to not reduce the deficit. this is a ten-year proposal. this will affect -- this is not a six-month agreement that they had with the continuing resolution. this is a ten-year proposal. if we agree on values that say we are going to educate our children and respect the dignity of the retirement of our seniors and create jobs, and we're going to do so in a way that reduces
the deficit, you couldn't possibly just buy into the cuts without the revenue and the recognition for the need for growth so our timing is affected by that. >> so would you vote for a debt ceiling that has attached to it a package that has only spending cuts? >> that would be very hard -- what would it accomplish? how much deficit reduction could you achieve? you cannot -- you cannot achieve what you set out to do if you say it's just about cutting. it has to be about increasing the revenue stream as well. there are many things you can do in terms of, again, special interest taxes, and loopholes that the tax code is rampant -- just full of. let me just remind -- all this talk about all this talk about tax cuts, in the bush years, the republicans said tax cuts would produce jobs, and they didn't, they produced a deficit, they produced a deficit -- >> along with two wars. >> two wars, unpaid for wars.
are these people not patriotic? they want their special tax cuts but don't want to pay for the wars that protect our freedom? in the second year of the obama administration, last year, more jobs were created in the private sector than in the eight years of the bush administration under the regime of tax cuts will produce jobs. >> madam leader, thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. when we come back, republican senator jim demint lays down the gauntlet for his lawmakers. >> any member of the house or senate who doesn't understand we need to balance our budget probably shouldn't be there.
unelectable or unacceptable by establishment republicans. still, demint's party with the tea party set could make him a player this year in the republican primary for president. >> i'm telling every presidential candidate, if your name is not on this list, don't come see me. >> the list is a pledge demint wants every presidential candidate to sign, launched by over 40 conservative groups this week, the pledge is shorthanded as cut, cap, and balance. those who sign promise not to support raising the u.s. debt ceiling unless congress agrees to substantial spending cuts starting next year. enforceable caps on spending and a balanced budget aem to the constitution. of the nine presidential candidates officially in the race, four have taken the pledge and one has said no. we'll hear senator demin's reaction to that and much more next.
the bat about this pledge you signed along with some other members of the senate and u.s. congress and various groups. it's called cut, cap and balance. let me run through "cut." you will oppose the debt ceiling until there are substantial spending cuts that would take effect 2012. define "substantial." >> we are leaving that open so we can negotiate. but we need to do something that significantly lowers spending in the short term. the second point, the cap spending, is to put controls on spending over the long term and guide it towards a balanced budget, and which is the goal to pass a budget and allow states to ratify it and allow states five years after it's ratified it takes effect. like 49 states, every year we have to make those hard decisions and balance the budget. candy, i'm convinced if we done have that requirement we're going to keep spending until our country becomes worse than greece.
>> i'm convinced what you have outlined here is not going happen between now and august 2nd. so what you're saying is i don't care if the country defaults. unless we do this, i'm not voting for a debt ceiling. >> i do care if we default. but the fact is we won't. if we never raise the debt ceiling, we'll pay our bills. >> why does the treasury secretary say it's going to be catastrophic? why do economists say it will shake the markets? why don't you believe that? >> default will do it. but we won't default. we will go back to budget levels of about eight years ago. we are not talking about draconian types of situations. the worst thing, candy, if we blow through the fourth debt ceiling in this administration, if we add another $2 trillion of our debt without taking control of it, i think you're going to see the markets respond in a much worse way as people look in and realize that we don't have the will to stop the spending. >> we're spending more than eight years ago. >> we are.
>> so at some point you will head towards default if you don't raise the dealt ceiling, aren't you? >> if the president decides he in october or november that he won't pay our bills because he refers to balance the budget 60s or eight years out, then i think americans need to know that. >> why shouldn't we look at it and say it's another giant game of chicken by our legislators? >> we have more revenue than we ever had. we are spending more than we ever have. we don't have a revenue problem. we have a spending problem. the government is doing things that we can't do well. we're wasting billions of dollars. we're not going to address the waste and fraud unless we have to. >> the fact of the matter is that i have not talked to an economists, and perhaps you have, that has not said that you cannot get there by cutting spending unless you cause some real pain. there has to be some sort of revenue enhancement. there has to be tax hikes. >> i don't agree with that.
i do think we need to change -- >> a lot of economists say this, people who know what they're talking about here. i am trying to figure out why you think that's not so. >> because i worked on this for years. there are things we can do with entitlements and cut costs over time and begin to offer young workers things that costs less, things we're doing like education and trps that states can do better, we need to start making decisions of where those need to be done. i was on an oil rig in the gulf this weekend, and it costs over $600 million, and it has been sitting there for months waiting for a permit. thousands of jobs are on hold, but we won't do the things that create the jobs that create the revenue. we can create the revenue we need if we allow the economy to start going again, but the problem is this administration seems to be doing everything they can to make it harder and more expensive to hire people. so revenues will come from economic growth. but spending cuts are essential in order to bring our budget
into balance. >> let me ask you a political question. you have said that if there are republican senators up for re-election next year who vote for an increase in the debt ceiling without these things you outlined, the cut, cap and balance, you might go ahead and back a primary opponent to them that would. are you talking about senator lugar and senator snowe, and senator brown. would you consider -- if they went ahead and said we have to raise the debt ceiling, you would consider running an opponent in a primary? >> i have no plans to work against any recome bept republicans. there are 23 democrats up, and i'm going to be involved in those races. what i do believe, candy, is any member of the house or the senate who doesn't understand we need to balance our budget probably shouldn't be there, and certainly a presidential kand nate who's not willing to say we have to balance our budget should not be president of the united states. >> but you would not field
candidates against lugar, brown, snowe? >> i have no plans to recruit candidates against -- >> that's not a definite no? >> i am not real definite. >> we'll leave it there. looking at the 2012 race now, are there any people in the race now that you could not support? one of the things that i am thinking, jon huntsman just got in. he was asked about this pledge and he said the only pledge that i do is the pledge of allegiance. >> i will not support any candidate who does not want to balance the budget. >> so hupsman is out. >> so for me he's out. i think we have good candidates. the more i am around them, the more confident i feel. and as america gets to know them bert, i think you're going to see a few strong ones come out of this field. >> can you name names here? >> no, i don't want to name names because i'm not writing anyone off unless they write off the idea of a balanced budget. >> you're writing off huntsman, and i would guess you are supporting romney who you supported before?
>> i like all of the candidates. i'm going to keep an open mind. the only litmus test i have at this point is the balanced budget. >> is there something that would propel you into this race or have you pretty much said i'm satisfied with this? >> i can't think of anything that would get me in the race. so i am looking for another candidate who is willing to carry that burden. but it's important. i think 2012 may be our last chance as a country to get this right. i am convinced four more years of obama will destroy our economy. i am not saying that as a partisan, but somebody who is in business for years and talks to hundreds of businesses over a month. everybody is coming in and saying they cannot do business in this environment. >> texas governor, rick perry, there is a lot of talk about people wanting him in. would you like to see him get in? >> i don't want that much about governor perry. he does seem to be bold. so i'll need to look into it if he decides -- >> there's somebody in this race you like.
i can tell. >> i like a lot of them and started meeting with them and a lot of them are asking to come in and speak to me. i am working with people in iowa and new hampshire and south carolina, and getting a lot of people to hold back and not commit so they see how they respond to the debt ceiling and the balanced budget and what we will face in the next few months. i think we will know who the candidate is by how they lead based on what we are doing here. >> thank you. we appreciate it. up next, mitt romney leading the way in the republican race, but will that lead to his nomination? we could've gone a more traditional route... ... but it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable.
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in a rope kahn field of nine, mitt romney is shoving his way to the front, aping beyond his immediate opponents. >> i cannot wait to debate him and say, mr. president, if, in fact, you did look at what we did in massachusetts, why didn't you give me a call and ask what worked and what didn't? i would have told you, mr. president, that what you're doing will not work. >> his campaign oozes confidence telling politico romney's fund-raising numbers this quarter will dwarf the competition. he will take time off from the iowa, new hampshire and south carolina circuit to raise money from well-connected americans in london. when president obama visited pittsburgh, romney gave an interview to a local paper and attacked the president's economic policies. the problem with front-runner status is it also makes you everyone else's target. all things political next. [ male announcer ] this is lisa, who tries to stay ahead of her class.
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low-dose tablet you take every day so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications, and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache, or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away. ask your doctor if cialis for daily use is right for you. for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to cialis.com. joining me now, bill burton, former deputy press secretary for president obama, and michael gerson, former speechwriter for president george w. bush. welcome, both.
>> thank you. >> we've been talking a lot about afghanistan today on the show and indeed all this week. how much sway does afghanistan have a year from november? take a guess, michael. >> i guess some depends on the outcome. if this is undermining the strategy and afghanistan is serious problem, that does factor into an impression of weakness for the president. but it may not be that way. the question is whether the level of cuts is going to seriously undermine that strategy or not. >> let me posit this because i do think that it's possible looking at the polling of americans if they saw afghanistan imploding after we began to pull out, we go, okay, well, we tried. do you think if something goes wrong on the ground and we're still pulling out that it's a negative for president obama? >> i agree with michael that the outcome is very important. two things about the afghan decision that are very important. one was the president set forth a strategy, showed success in
that strategy, and was able to keep a promise that he made. and the number two is the general incoherence you see on the gop side on this issue. you have people like mitt romney that want to pull our troops out faster, jon huntsman wants them out faster, tim pawlenty wants to keep their troops in longer. there is no coherence to why they want to do that or when they would get the troops out or why they would get the troops out. i think that as people start to think about what the choice will be here next november, they see president obama, who has shown strong leadership, here and a group of republicans that don't have a coherent foreign policy, but at the end of the day i agree with michael that what happens on the ground is what matters. >> a lot of folks look at what bill is calling incoherence in the republican party and saying, look, there is a seismic shift going on in the republican party, often seen as the most pus muscular of the two parties when it comes to defense matter. is there that or this just specific to this president or this issue? afghanistan?
>> i think we saw in the libyan debate a lot of republicans coming out against the good strategy in this case just for political reasons, resulting in an odd alliance between the anti-war left and the anti-obama right. that i think is pretty dangerous for the country. i think john mccain is correct to be concerned there are serious undercurrents of isolation that you see in candidates like jon huntsman moving forward here. so republicans are till luting an important part of their message. tim pawlenty is trying to restore it, and trying to distinguish himself as a strong supporter. it will be a debate in the republican party where under george bush or john mccain it wasn't really a debate. >> let me move you to the debt ceiling because that is occupying much of our time in washington. the president will meet with the minority, majority leaders from the senate tomorrow. what is the president's best move in accepting the premise that what is holding things up,
what is holding up the deal is republicans don't want to increase revenues in any way, shape or form? >> i think there has to be a deal. i think that eric cantor walking away from the negotiations was a very dangerous thing. we can take him at his word that it above his pay grade, but if boehner is not able to go in there and make sure the nation doesn't default on its obligations, then republicans will end up owning this economy as much as the president does. >> and you know democrats are going do that, michael. i think they have to get a debt ceiling increase because i don't think either side truly wants to see the nation default. the point bill is making is i think there is as much danger in the next couple of days for speaker john boehner as for the president. would you agree with that? >> i agree. i think it will be fascinating to see it unfold. the president has to decide whether he wants a deal or not, and join arms with boehner and have an east room signing ceremony, take some of these spending issues off the table, or whether he wants to be a more
traditionally democratic, use entitlements and taxes on the rich as a cudgel against republicans moving forward. john boehner has a divided caucus of his own in the house. if he gives too much he will need democratic votes to pass a budget in the house. people like senator demint are saying no deal except for maximal circumstances. it's a balance for both of them with what they want to do in the environment. >> doesn't the president want the debt ceiling thing to go away? i don't think people look at this and go debt ceiling, jobs. it's clear american people want to talk about jobs. there are signals from the white house, let's get this done and move on. >> i think that's probably right. you can't talk about some of the other things you need to do in order to create jobs while you have the debt ceiling fight hanging over you. >> doesn't that indicate there might be some give there with the president, and he might say, fine, no tax, you know, no revenue enhancements or getting rid of subsidies?
just do it the way you've got it. >> i don't think he will say just do it. he comes to table with a principal position and so does john boehner and the republicans. i think at the end of the day we'll find common ground because the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling could be too catastrophic for the american economy. >> the common ground could be revenue increases that are tax increases. that's a debate in the republican coalition. you're talking act tax breaks and the ethanol subsidy that could raise revenue without increasing rates. that might be a solution. people like tom coburn are excited about these. >> let me move you to 2012 and we talked about former governor romney now and certainly seems to be the frontrunner in money and polling in iowa and new hampshire, so the ongoing premise is it will be mitt romney versus who? who is the non-mitt romney? >> well, it's hard to tell, and
the "des moines register" poll today showed michele bachmann just a point behind romney. at this point huckabee had four in the iowa polls and went on to win. the thing that is similar between a bachmann and a pawlenty or romney is they offer a crystal clear choice having signed on to the ryan budget and all the things it would do like end medicare and favor tax cuts for wealthy folks in oil companies. i think that sets up a choice that make us clear to the american people who they pull the lever for next november. >> we should say that he's right, huckabee went on to win the iowa caucuses but he didn't go on to become the anti-john mccain. >> i agree with that. >> who do you see having the strength at this point to take on a front-runner, albeit a rather weak one at this point? >> i think there are going to be three people emerge here, romney, the alternative to romney and sort of the tea party conservative darling, who may be someone like michele bachmann,
who is probably not going to be the alternative to romney. pawlenty really wants to occupy that crown. i think romney is in an increasingly strong position. he looks more comfortable. i've seen him up in new hampshire. he looks more comfortable than the last time around. the debate is now no longer a health care debate, which would have hurt him a couple years ago with republicans. it's an economic growth debate, a jobs debate, and he's stronger on that. >> i'm going to have to unfortunately stop you both here. thanks for joining us. >> thanks. >> up next, our "sound of sunday." highlights from the other sunday morning talk shows. then nancy pelosi's response to this personal question. >> you can tell me if this is true or not, your mother actually wanted you to be a nun.
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time for today's "sound of sunday." getting to a deal which would increase the debt limit was a key topic on sunday's shows. after weeks of trying to find a common approach to bring down the debt, republicans and democrats don't even agree on a technology. >> it's simply not going to produce a desirable result. putting aside the fact republicans don't like to raise taxes, democrats don't like to either. >> you don't want to raise anybody's tax rates. that's never been on the table. i wish they will get beyond their talking points and get honest with the american people as to what these discussions are
about. we ought not to have all these subsidies. we ought not have all these breaks for millionaires and billionaires. we ought to be honest with the american people and have an effective tax rate that would be fair to everybody. >> the president jumps into this morass this week beginning with meetings with senate leaders. new jersey governor chris chrissie, a republican favorite, thinks in the end the answer lies betwelie s in a triangle. >> the president had to get involved personally. there is no substitute for the three leaders in the room having to look at each other and hash this out. and everybody's got to put skin in the game. i think if the president has made a mistake here, it's this laid-back kind of approach where he's waiting for someone else to solve the problem. some say it's a political strategy. no matter what it is, it's not effective in solving problems. >> on the eve of her announcement party in iowa,
congresswoman michele bachmann says she's pleased with the new iowa poll showing her statistically tied for first with former massachusetts governor mitt romney. no coincidence she used her sunday platform to take a swipe at him for his views on abortion. >> governor romney has had a history of varying his position on this issue. i think clearly we need a candidate who is pro-life. mitt romney has to say what he is, but i will say that if he is saying now that he is pro-life, this was a tremendous opportunity for him to demonstrate that by signing the susan b. anthony pledge. and i think it's disappointing that he didn't. >> and that's today's "sound of sunday." up next, a side of nancy pelosi you may not have seen before. ♪
we're lucky to get some great guests on this show, and sometimes we corral them into taking a few extra minutes for a web exclusive we call "getting to know." the idea is to flush out what the political world refers to as talking heads. the conversation is often funny, sometimes poignant, and always revealing. this week we got to know nancy pelosi a little better. she was the first female speaker of the u.s. house of representatives, but her mom, it turns out, hat a different career path in mind for her only daughter. your mother actually wanted you to be a nun. >> oh, definitely. >> so i want to know from your perspective if that was ever a true consideration of yours. >> no. no, it wasn't. i didn't want to be a nun and i didn't want to be a congresswom congresswoman. >> you can see the rest of the interview and all of ou